SeeWoo, the UK’s leading oriental food specialist, stocks over 5,000 products which are delivered to its cash and carry outlets and to clients in this country and across Europe.
Five Aisle-Master articulated forklifts ensure the streamlined movement of tonnes of products a day at the company’s HQ and distribution centre in Park Royal and a further warehousing facility nearby, in what is a very fast paced operation.
The company initially used a mix of counterbalance and reach trucks before switching to the narrow aisle articulated system for best possible use of space – costs per square foot are understandably high in this part of London. After using two other brands of articulated trucks, with limited success, SeeWoo switched to the Aisle-Masters.
Technical Services Manager Henry Pirie explains the reasons why: “As we do not factor in any standby machines we need absolute dependability and this is what we get with our Aisle- Masters. Since we have had the trucks downtime has essentially been eradicated.”
The 2.5t capacity trucks work in ambient, chilled and cold store environments and were built to a tough cold store specification and fitted with quad masts. “This means that they can be interchanged to be wherever they are needed in a matter of minutes and we can easily transport them for deployment at another site,” said Pirie. “The quad masts enable them to access low doorways whilst still being able to work in the 9.5m racking in the ambient warehouses, so we benefit from maximum flexibility and speedy operation, which is exactly what we require.”
At the HQ the three Aisle- Masters work predominantly indoors in pre-existing aisles widths of 2.1m, and the two trucks at the Acton Road site are used indoor and out for all tasks – from offloading, placing pallets in racking, picking and reloading for despatch. Powerful batteries ensure non-stop thirteen hour operation, even in the very low temperatures of up to -22º in the cold store, eliminating any need for mid shift battery changing.
SeeWoo has a long standing partnership with its materials handling provider Forkway Group, who also provide a mixed fleet of Yale warehouse and counterbalance equipment across 4 sites to supplement the role fulfilled by the Aisle-Masters. “As an independently owned and run business, Forkway is similar to SeeWoo in its outlook and knowing that our trucks are in good hands for even the most basic of daily checks leaves us to concentrate on our core business,” said Pirie, who adds: “The combination of Forkway’s great service, the 5,000 hour/5 year guarantee offered by Aisle-Master together with its very accommodating attitude towards adding customised features to the trucks instils a high level of confidence.”